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Feb. 4, 1942 – Sept. 6, 2007 Terry Campbell Coverdale Brennan was born on Feb. 4, 1942 in Long Beach, Calif., to Jean McFarland Coverdale and Gordon Keith Coverdale.
At an early age, Terry could win the hearts of everyone around her. During her life as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend and journalist, she was most renowned as a storyteller.
As a journalism student at SMU in Dallas Texas, Terry worked as an intern for the Dallas Morning News. Her first beat assignment was the Amusement Department; a perfect fit for Terry’s personality. After SMU’s graduation, Terry began her early career as a general assignment reporter with the Dallas Times Herald. During her time at the city desk, JFK was assassinated and she was assigned coverage of the Lee Harvey Oswald burial. Her writing earned her recognition and awards, most notably the Media Award from the America Red Cross for her compassionate report on flooding in South Dallas.
Thomas Henry Brennan caught Terry’s eye and affection while he was a pre-law student at SMU. He later became the love of her life. They married in 1963 and celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary on May 31.
In 1974, they packed up their Texas flag and followed their dreams to Mansfield, to a farm between Mansfield and Ava on Bryant Creek. The 100-year-old house on the farm was deemed “uninhabitable.” Terry met the challenge like everything in her life, with determination, and made the house a home for their three children Donald, Rebecca and Claire.
In November 2000, when Terry was first diagnosed with breast cancer, she met the challenge with a healthy defiance. She was able to fight this disease with her strong faith and her positive attitude. Terry had a love for life that was obvious to all those who knew her.
Recently Terry and Tom had to move to Springfield to be closer to medical care for Terry, a move, according to Terry, that was much harder for them to make than the move from Texas to Missouri.
As a young girl, Terry was taught to dream. She never stopped dreaming for not just herself but for others. Her final dream was for her grandchildren to continue to know her through shared stories and laughter.
Terry was raised in the Episcopal Church before converting to Catholicism in 1973.
Terry attended St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Ava, prior to attending Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Mansfield.
Terry was preceded in death by her father, Gordon Keith Coverdale.
She is survived by her husband, Thomas Brennan of Springfield; children, Donald Brennan and wife Carla, San Antonio, Texas, Rebecca Schrock and husband Wally, of Nixa, and Claire Spence and husband, Robert, of Springfield; and six grandchildren, Margaret, Thomas and Patrick Finnegan Brennan, all of San Antonio, Texas, and Robert, Thomas and Alexander Spence, all of Springfield. Grandchild number 7 who will be named, Terry, is due to be born in November 2007 to Becky and Wally.
Also surviving are her mother, Jean Bentley, Dallas, Texas; a sister, Jeanie Powell, Houston, Texas; a stepsister, Camille Brennan, Dallas, Texas; a stepbrother, Russell Bentley, Brownwood, Texas; sister-in-law Dawn Maloney and husband Thomas, Rye, N.Y.; and brother-in-law, Lane Brennan, Sausalito, Calif.
Visitation and prayer service will be held at Lohmeyer Funeral Home, 500 E Walnut St, Springfield, on Friday, Sept. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Mansfield, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15.
Memorial contributions can be made to Citizens Development Center 8800 Ambassador Row Dallas, TX 75247 or Camp-Re-New-All, c/o Father Paul Wightman, Rt. 6 Box 6700, Ava, MO 65608.